Baptism- to attend or not to attend. (we're athiests) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-15-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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DH and I are athiests (highly spiritual, have a love for nature, but don't believe in a formal God). We hope that our DDs (2.5 and 6 months old) make their own decisions about things.

We're invited to DDs cousin's baptism. She's fairly close to this cousin and the same age. They're catholic. I've been to Catholic baptisms before, but this family is a bit different than most Catholics I know. They are very religious- at any given barbeque and any given meal (even if it just the cutting of a watermelon) the family holds hands and prays aloud for 5+ minutes. Birthday parties included. (My DD actually became a bit frightned at the last birthday party- her favorite uncle's. They removed his hat before he blew out the candles and had everyone hold their palms up to him as they prayed aloud for 10 minutes. My DD didn't have a clue what was going on but looked a bit scared.)

I'm not against this in any way- but I'm not sure if bringing my daughters to the church ceremony would be a spectacular idea. I do want to expose them to various religions and their practices, but I don't know if this particular situation might be "religious exposure overkill".

Me (27) DW (28) DD1 (9) DD2 (7) DD 3 (4)
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#2 of 4 Old 07-15-2010, 07:10 PM
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that sounds more protestant evangelecal charasmatic sort of stuff than Catholic but whatever floats their boat I guess. Since they are close I would consider going....but would cousin even know you weren't there? maybe sit near the back so you can make an escape? Are their religous beliefs and practices just theirs or does their whole parish work this way? I am sure people at my parish do their own thing in their own private devotions but a baptism is a baptism is a baptism. There is really no room for variations. So maybe ...idk.

if you really think it would irritate you, freak you out, freak your dd out to go then it would be best to stay home. There were people at my childrens baptism that I felt I had to invite. it would have been better if they had stayed home. for everyone. They weren't comfortable there and yet they felt obligated because I invited them (and Invited them because I felt obligated )anyway, I know for me, if someone felt uncomfortable celebrating a sacrament with us I would totally understand. Heck if I ever get married again I make sure people know they do not have to attend the religous part of the ceremony if it makes them uncomfortable. I would rather be able to relax and worship and participate than wonder if my guests were uncomfortable and if I wanted to invite someone it would be because i love them and I wouldn't want someone I love to be uncomfortable for any reason (hello run on sentence of the year).

It really is ok if you are uncomfortable with other people religous expression. Even though I love poeple and even though at a very basic level we share a faith (some more than others) I doubt I would be comfortable attending baptisms, confirmations, weddings etc at other churches (well somewhere between uncomfortable and cranky) and if I cannot go with complete love and acceptance I owuld rather not go because I don't want to be a damper on their celebration (I wish it were more socially acceptable for people to say "I am not comfortable with the whole religous thing but would love to come celbrate at the after party with you")

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#3 of 4 Old 07-15-2010, 08:02 PM
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Attending this is more about being supportive to this family and its new baby and showing that support by your presence, than about whatever these people believe. If you are close to them and want to show them that support, I say go ahead.
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#4 of 4 Old 07-15-2010, 08:29 PM
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Your kids are going to take their cues from you, if you can go without judgement and have a good time then go. If not, I'd stay home.
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